Northern Ireland Open seeds
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Mixed Day for Northern Ireland Open Seeds

Several high-profile names crashed out, although a few of the favourites remain in the hunt for glory.

There was a wide range of performances from the top seeds in the Northern Ireland Open as the second round was completed on Wednesday in Milton Keynes.

Defending champion Judd Trump excelled with a maximum 147 break en route to his comprehensive 4-0 beating of Gao Yang.

The world number one’s terrific display also included runs of 127 and 109 as he maintained his quest for a second Home Nations title of the campaign.

World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, runner-up to Trump in each of the last two Northern Ireland Opens, advanced as well courtesy of a 4-1 defeat of bogeyman Elliot Slessor.

The latter had beaten the “Rocket” in their previous couple of meetings and won the first frame to instill some doubt again, but O’Sullivan eventually powered through to the third round.

Antrim’s Mark Allen, who will be disappointed at being unable to compete on home soil this year, beat Robert Milkins while John Higgins earned a similar 4-2 victory against amateur Patrick Wallace.

Ding Junhui, Kyren Wilson, Yan Bingtao, and Stephen Maguire were among the other marquee names who survived the last 64 and booked their spots in the next round.

However, a number of seeds weren’t so fortunate and duly crashed out of the fifth Northern Ireland Open in premature fashion.

Neil Robertson, twice a tournament finalist this term, didn’t bounce back strongly from his loss in last week’s German Masters qualifiers – exiting with a 4-2 reverse against the very same opponent, Ben Woollaston.

Fellow former world champions Mark Williams and Stuart Bingham were likewise sent home after losing 4-2 to Dominic Dale and Zhao Jianbo respectively.

The upset of the day arguably came in the form of Lukas Kleckers’ impressive whitewash win over European Masters champion Mark Selby.

The German snatched the opening frame and proceeded to make contributions of 88, 79, 63, and 52 to limit his esteemed opponent to just three points from the final three frames.

Elsewhere, a lot of former ranking event winners emerged unscathed to reach the last 32 and continue their bids to claim the £70,000 top prize.

Ali Carter, Matthew Stevens, Ryan Day, Luca Brecel, Martin Gould, Matthew Selt, and Liang Wenbo all won, as did recent Shoot Out kings Michael Holt and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

Former Indian Open champion Michael White, relegated from the Main Tour at the end of last season and currently competing as an amateur top-up, edged a dramatic decider with Barry Hawkins by a single point.

Scott Donaldson, Yuan Sijun, and Igor Figueiredo were a few of the others to advance to what will be a busy Thursday, with both the third and fourth rounds set to take place.

This Northern Ireland Open is being played behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena, with live coverage available on Eurosport, Quest, and various other services.

Click here to view the draw – scheduled times in CET.

Featured photo credit: WST

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